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Core 2 Duo E7200

G31 And E7200: The Real Low-Power Story
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Intel’s Core 2 Duo processor was launched in late summer of 2006, and it arrived with a bang. All of a sudden, AMD’s Athlon 64 X2 processors were outclassed by a product that delivered better performance while simultaneously requiring less energy. Launched at a 2.66 GHz clock speed (2.93 GHz for the unaffordable Extreme edition), it held its superior standing for more than two years.

The first update was a bus speed bump that took the processors from FSB1066 to FSB1333 in the summer of 2007 with the launch of the P35 platform and slightly modified processors. The second modification was FSB1600 speed in the high end and shrinking the process from 65 nm to 45 nm. All of the Core 2 Duo E7000, E8000 processors and Core 2 Quad Q8000 and Q9000 are based on the 45 nm Wolfdale cores. Yorkfield, which is the core name for the quad core, utilizes two Wolfdale die.

Core 2 Duo E7000

Over time, Wolfdale received some improvements, the latest being the introduction of the M0 stepping, which continues to reduce processor power in idle states when compared to the L steppings. We looked around for a reasonable processor that utilized the latest stepping and we found the Core 2 Duo E7200, which utilizes only 3 MB L2 cache instead of 6 MB cache. Undoubtedly, the reduced L2 cache capacity represents another power saving opportunity, of which we wanted to take advantage.

The E7000-series currently consists of only two models: the E7300 at 2.66 GHz and the E7200 at 2.53 GHz. Both are based on the Wolfdale core, but again have only 3 MB L2 cache and a reduced front side bus speed of FSB1066—this is in contrast to the FSB1333 used for all Core 2 Duo E8000 models (which have 6 MB L2 cache). The E7000 series does not support virtualization technology (VT) nor Trusted Execution technology (TXT)—this isn’t an issue for our purposes, since both are insignificant for mainstream desktop users. A smaller L2 cache capacity together with relaxed clock speeds makes this processor an excellent choice for a high efficiency computer as you’ll see in the benchmark section. Despite being rated at the default TDP of 65 W for desktop processors, the Core 2 Duo E7200 stays pretty far away from that limit.

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  • 0 Hide
    aje21 , 10 October 2008 19:44
    This is all well and good, but where's the comparison with AMD? Surely they should see how a low power Athlon X2 (e.g. 4050e) with 780G chipset compares!
  • 0 Hide
    jate , 11 October 2008 20:08
    Comparing this Intel setup with an AMD's offering will make it even more interesting like the one used in this article, http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/amd-nvidia-chipset,review-31126-21.html. Instead of using Phenom 9600@95w B2 processor, use something like Athlon X2 4850e 2.5ghz 45w processor. The setup using Phenom 9600 consume 58w on idle. This is way over to be compared to this artcles setup but with Athlon X2 4850e, probably it will be on par. And if so, mind you that you'll have a lot more latest feature, ample horsepower at 2.5ghz, way better video/3d performance and upgrade paths. I would love to see reviews comparing both setup.
  • 0 Hide
    eh_ch , 15 October 2008 04:52
    780G! Compare! Please!
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , 17 October 2008 00:41
    Have a Foxconn and a Gigabyte G31. I don't need all the features of the more expensive chipsets and purchase task specific discrete GPUs.

    The Foxconn runs a htpc, cool and almost silent, the Gigabye runs an overclocked desktop / gaming pc. Both are very effective and cost effective solutions.

    I have had problems with the interrupt handling with the Foxconn board but found their technical support to be prompt and informative.

    The Gigabyte board's memory dividers mean that I had to use pretty good quality RAM, but otherwise no complaints for under £40 delivered each.